At approx. 3:30 AM power went out (or came back on) at Jared's house in Ann Arbor (where the lives).

At 7:30AM I received a SMS message from jared saying that my machine was down.

I went back to sleep. At about 9:00 AM I messaged jared back asking him to kick the server in the head. He promptly called me and let me know that it wasn't going to be that simple.

Thinking it was simply a power supply gone bad, I ordered a replacement from MacResQ. I then drove over to his house with Ben's old G3 that had been sitting in the basement. Swapping the power supplies did not work. Swapping the RAM did not work. Swapping the personality cards did not work.

Finally, I decided to just move the disks from the geeklair machine to Ben's machine. I did this, but forgot that his machine needs an OF nvram patch to work with Mac OS X. I had Mac OS X install disks with me, but no mac display->vga adaptor and no adb keyboard or mouse.

I attempted to have the machine boot off of the OS X CD in the hopes that it would patch OF and work, but this failed. I also attempted to get video off of the onboard ntsc video out port, but this also failed.

Feeling defeated, I drove the machine back to Lansing. I used a Mac OS 9 CD to set the startup disk to the Mac OS X root disk on the server. I used some extra mounting screws I had at the house to screw down the SCSI hard drive that had never before been mounted properly. I swapped the plastic CD ROM cover panel with the hostname label onto the working machine.

Then, I drove back to Ann Arbor and installed the machine. It came up fine and proceeded to pull mail from the backup mx.

Everything is working now, but I'm eager for this never to happen again.

Ideally I could install an xserve somewhere and have serial console if I needed it. That would be expensive, though. The most likely option would be for me to get a G5 (in March or so?) and use my desktop G4 to replace the current machine.

In any event, things are working now. I have to talk to Ben to see what he wants to do about the machine (I could buy it from him, or he could not care and it could be the geeklair until I replace it next year).

Jared wants me to go with his super-server concept (one big FreeBSD machine that several people have chroot()ed jail()s on), but I'm pretty attached to Mac OS X.

I'll just try to not buy too many toys so I can get a new G5 for myself and promote my desktop to a G4. Perhaps I'll spring for a rackmount case for it and try to get some co-lo somewhere closer (or somewhere with more bandwith?).

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1 TrackBack machine update from Daniel J. Luke's Weblog on August 24, 2003 4:36 PM

Ben has graciously donated his G3 for use. Thanks!... Read More


The vserver jail thing is pretty cool (we have a bunch at my new workplace) but running OS X has to give that special warm fuzzy... 8^)

Special warm fuzzy + good JVM (for WebObjects) + I would rather sysadmin a Mac OS X system at this point (I'm so used to it) + I have more disk space than his jail server.

... it's a neat idea (especially if the people who are using it pool together and buy a beast of a machine), but I don't think I'm really interested at this point.

If I were making a radical change, I would rather move the machine someplace closer to my house.

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